Archive: » 2016 » May

Blackcock Lek

Photographing Black Grouse on their nuptial display lek is something that requires a bit of extra effort and discomfort on the part of the photographer. The males arrive on the lek well before dawn so there is always a risk of disturbing the birds if you mistime your appearance at the hide in the early hours. Over the years I have come to the conclusion that it’s probably best to go in to the hide the night before and sleep there.  Last month under a full moon the noisy neighbours kicked off at 3.30 am a full hour and an half earlier than I would normally have expected any birds on the lek....

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Photographing Marsh Harriers

I spent four long days in the hides at the Loch of Kinnordy RSPB Reserve in Angus last month trying to get pictures of the Marsh Harriers. The harriers are relative newcomers to Scotland. Thanks to species protection and wetland habitat restoration their numbers have increased from a low of four breeding pairs in East Anglia during the 1950’s to currently nearly four hundred pairs which are now scattered over a wide area from south-west England to north-east Scotland. Most of the harrier and Osprey action was just too far away from the hides to be of any use for photography in the hazy air. There...

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